These days, gift guides are a dime a dozen. Everyone and their brother with a blog is prescribing shopping lists for end-of-year splurging. So Team ITG figured you didn't need another hyper-glam, super-glossy wheel of photos. You won't find a single $500 Phoenician marble paperweight on these pages; instead, we're sharing exactly what our team is actually buying for friends, family, and themselves. Turns out, some of the best beauty gifts really do come from the heart! And also, Mom + Dad: Please stop reading now, so as not to ruin the surprise. Everyone else, go ahead and share what's on your own list in the comment section below. 'Til then, happy shopping!
A Colorful Look
"I like to go by the name Nadine Jane because my Grandma's name is Betty Jane. I like to wear lipstick every day because my Grandma wears lipstick every day. I am her biggest fan. I used to watch her meticulously apply lip liner in the mirror, and imagine how satisfying it must be to apply that highly pigmented coat of Revlon lipstick on top. Betty Jane loves a red-orange, so this year I want to get her an upgrade. Bobbi Brown has this amazing lipstick-meets-liner in Hot Orange, so she can do two steps in one. Then I want to pair it with Essie's Geranium, because Betty Jane loves to match her nails to her lips. The total stays under $50, but doubles as I will be buying a set for myself too." —Nadine Head-Gordon, People Operations Manager
A Fancy Hand Cream
"My best friend Dina has the best skin ever—she inspired me to have a routine that involved moisturizing my whole body. We have this inside joke where I'm obsessed with her forehead–perfect shape and great texture. It's funny when we mask together because its evident her forehead has more real estate than mine. So the Chanel La Crème Main is the perfect gift for her: It moisturizes, it's sleek, and it's reminiscent of her beautiful forehead." —Melati Diran, Junior Digital Designer
A Trendy Facial
"This year I'm getting my boyfriend a facial at CAP Beauty. It's the best facial I've ever had in my life and he is always making fun of me for all the money I spend on self-care. Now he'll finally understand why." —Laura Yeh, Packaging Designer
A Tiny Ring
"In 2009, I gifted one of my younger sisters a cheap opal silver ring I’d found on vacation. She loved it and wore it to school every day until she left it on the sink in the girls’ bathroom. It was never seen again. Finally, eight Christmases later, I'm replacing it for her. And it’s an upgrade: the tiniest opal set onto the most delicate, dazzling gold band designed by Wing Yau of Wwake jewelry in Brooklyn, accompanied by an emerald rendition for my other, even younger sister whom I love equally as much. Because I don’t think anything is ever more exciting to unwrap than jewelry." —Anna Jube, Editorial Assistant
A Skincare Starter Pack
"I am a terrible gift-giver. My palms are sweating now just thinking about it. Of all the people I have to gift on Christmas, my dad is the hardest. He requests that we, his daughters, get him nothing, under the guise of the 'Your love is the greatest gift of all.' But I know better than to fall for that. After much deliberation and a chat with my mom, I decided on this Kiehl’s skincare set. My dad uses Lubriderm on his face, and his dermatologist just recommended that he use a heavier facial cream because his skin is dry (ahem, Lubriderm). He might not be highly enthused by this gift at first, but that's where my mom comes in. Once she convinces him to start using the products for, you know, the good of his health he'll realize I've got his best interests at heart." —Kim Johnson, Community Manager
A Contemporary Teapot
"Kim Johnson is my work-wife, my wife-wife, heck—my Instagram is practically a Kim Johnson fan account. She moved into her own apartment this year, which is really the best gift you can give yourself, so I wanted to get her something nice for her new place. This Tom Dixon teapot is perfect because A) She's a tea girl, and B) I found it at my neighborhood coolest store ever, Coming Soon. Kim, this is also your belated housewarming gift!" —Eva Alt, Social Media Editor
A Chic Hat
"My niece Taylor is 10 now, so Christmas feels like a good opportunity to get her something special that will help me secure 'cool uncle status'. Right now she's really into statement hats, God knows why, and unfortunately some of them are not cute. Think built-in cat ears, fedora-like toppers, etc. That's OK and all but here's where I can come in: I'm getting her something more classic—like this Brixton beret from Madewell. Something she could almost keep as an heirloom." —Tom Newton, Senior Media Editor + Photographer
A Useful Gadget
"My girlfriend is an aspiring filmmaker who interns at Vice and works at Tisch’s Production Center. While she dreams of a RED (you should see how much this thing costs), she’s been on the hunt for a dependable stabilizer for her iPhone-turned-motion-camera. DJI’s Osmo Mobile is the one she’s been raving about, so I’ve been saving up. She’s also unabashedly nerdy about the universe, so I’ve been looking at beautifully surrealist prints and tapestries from Beth Hoeckel to frame in her apartment. I’ll probably wrap them in a cute long sleeve shirt from To The Moon Citizen. The spacey-meets-manic-pixie streetwear line matches both of our aesthetics, which means I'll have another shirt to borrow from her closet—an underlying motive I'm willing to cop to." —Utibe Mbagwu, Editorial Intern
An Upgraded Work Bag
"Morgan, my executive assistant, is so special to me. She keeps the trains on track all year long and makes me a better boss, friend, sister, and daughter. And, I don't know how she does it, but Morgan ALWAYS carries the World's Smallest Purse. I like to add to her collection; this year, I'm getting her a Mark Cross handbag that I saw her swooning over when we were at Dover Street Market in the fall, launching Glossier in London." —Emily Weiss, Founder + CEO
"My son, who is 11, loves Primary's bright polos for his daily school uniform, so for the holidays I'm going to layer on this terrific cozy hoodie in Tangerine. To go with, these awesome North Face slippers are also on my list. And I've found this amazingly credible kids' architecture building kit from Arckit for my 8-year old daughter. She can build her own contemporary dream house and fantasize about playing soccer in its yard every weekend. Then I can't resist YORK, a fantastical mystery puzzle and the first in a series of books set in a futuristic New York City from National Book Award finalist Laura Ruby, which I may have to read myself before wrapping. If we stuffed stockings, I'd pack them full of mochi squishies, this season's fidget spinner ("stress relief for kids" is a new cottage industry!). They're super cute, fragrant, and addictively fun to squeeze." —MZ Goodman, VP of Digital Product
A Better Bath
"Going home for the holidays usually turns into an extended spa vacation for my mother and myself. There's no better time to test a detox salt soak than when I have access to my parents' claw foot tub. But don't think it's all about me this year: In two weeks, I'll be lugging home Follain's new line of organic bath and body collaborations—rose body butter, lavender bath salts, clay-infused milk bath, and some aromatherapy oils to give to Mom. They're simple, they're luxurious, and there's enough for me to use after she's done trying it all out." —Emily Ferber, Senior Editor
A Luxurious Snooze
"In my professional giver/receiver opinion, the most memorable gifts are thoughtful upgrades. This year I’m elevating my future sister-in-law’s snoozing situation with a navy Slip silk pillowcase and fresh jammies from Everlane that I’ll be embroidering with her name on the pocket. The best part is she’ll be wearing this tunic while we get ready for my upcoming wedding (she's my maid of honor)! I’m only crying a little while typing this." —Sam Wilson, Community Coordinator
A Shared Experience (+ A Sweatshirt)
"My family and I roll deep. My parents raised my siblings and me to operate like a team. When one of us gets into their dream school or lands a position at their favorite company, we represent. After family, Glossier is my [second] team, so sweatshirts for all! Also, the brothers have been working really hard this year, accomplishing some major life goals so I wanted to gift them some luxe experiences. For brother #1 (McAlbert) a facial—his two tours in Iraq really took a toll on his skin, and he deserves some TLC. For brother #2 (McNisky), a Yoga and Bath experience at my dream NYC spa, Aire Ancient Baths. And brother #3 (McDaniel), my baby who's not such a baby anymore, just a really good meal. We're both Cancers and love any and all West Indian foods. I'm going to have to join him on this gift trip to Angela's in Brooklyn. The jerk chicken is divine." —Manouska Jeantus, gTEAM Editor
And Always Something For Yourself...
"Hate Kanye all you want, but please name one genius that ain’t crazy. Two years ago, the Yeezy Boost 350 was named the Shoe of the Year at the 'Shoe Oscars' and the hype still hasn’t died down. If you ever see a site or store that stocks any new model or colorway—let me know if it's a men's size 5.5 or 6—congratulations, you’ve found El Dorado. And seriously, they're good shoes. The primeknit is thick and can withstand approximately 2 hours of moderate rain (unexpectedly tested in London). You’ll also find that Adidas Boost technology you know and love enclosed within the TPU sidewalls. If you're sold, unfortunately you just missed the latest drop. But don’t worry, you can cop the Blue Tints (for you or your loved one) on December 16th. PS- Kanye (or Kim) if you’re reading this, please re-release the Wave Runners from Season 5. :pray emoji:" —Kate Park, Engineer
Photographed by Tom Newton.
All the makeup products to wear to your holiday parties this month, right this way.